Pope Francis called the world to pray and fast for peace in Syria, the Middle East and throughout the world on this Saturday, September 7, the vigil of the Feast of the Birth of Mary, Queen of Peace.
The Pope said, “There are so many conflicts in this world which cause me great suffering and worry, but in these days my heart is deeply wounded in particular by what is happening in Syria and anguished by the dramatic developments which are looming.”
“With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons,” he said. “I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart. May the plea for peace rise up and touch the heart of everyone so that they may lay down their weapons and let themselves be led by the desire for peace.”
The Pope concluded, “Let us ask Mary to help us to respond to violence, to conflict and to war, with the power of dialogue, reconciliation and love. She is our mother: may she help us to find peace; all of us are her children! Help us, Mary, to overcome this most difficult moment and to dedicate ourselves each day to building in every situation an authentic culture of encounter and peace. Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!”